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Stamp duty holiday has little impact on market

The final weeks of the stamp duty holiday failed to spark a rush of new home buyers in Northern Ireland, it was revealed today.

Over a third of chartered surveyors said sales were down during December 2009, with 45% saying they were unchanged despite the rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax reverting back to £125,000 from £175,000 at the beginning of January.

The Ulster Bank sponsored survey, carried out by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyor (RICS), also indicated the market may be beginning to stabilise.

RICS Northern Ireland spokesman, Tom McClelland, said: "In parts of Northern Ireland many first time buyer homes are selling for less than £125,000.

"And around 40% of Northern Ireland has a stamp duty threshold of £150,000 rather than £125,000 because they are classed as a disadvantaged area.

"The holiday was perhaps viewed as largely irrelevant."